Defects in Cockayne syndrome type A (CSA), a gene involved in nucleotide excision repair, cause an autosomal recessive syndrome characterized by growth failure, progressive neurological dysfunction, premature aging, and skin photosensitivity and atrophy. Beyond its role in DNA repair, the CSA protein has additional functions in transcription and oxidative stress response, which are not yet fully elucidated. Here, we investigated the role of CSA protein in primary human keratinocyte senescence. Primary keratinocytes from three patients with CS-A displayed premature aging features, namely premature clonal conversion, high steady-state levels of reactive oxygen species and 8-OH-hydroxyguanine, and senescence-associated secretory phenotype. Stable transduction of CS-A keratinocytes with the wild-type CSA gene restored the normal cellular sensitivity to UV irradiation and normal 8-OH-hydroxyguanine levels. Gene correction was also characterized by proper restoration of keratinocyte clonogenic capacity and expression of clonal conversion key regulators (p16 and p63), decreased NF-κB activity and, in turn, the expression of its targets (NOX1 and MnSOD), and the secretion of senescence-associated secretory phenotype mediators. Overall, the CSA protein plays an important role in protecting cells from senescence by facilitating DNA damage processing, maintaining physiological redox status and keratinocyte clonogenic ability, and reducing the senescence-associated secretory phenotype-mediated inflammatory phenotype.
Cordisco, S., Tinaburri, L., Teson, M., Orioli, D., Cardin, R., Degan, P., Stefanini, M., Zambruno, G., Guerra, L., & Dellambra, E. (2018). Cockayne Syndrome Type A Protein Protects Primary Human Keratinocytes from Senescence. Journal of Investigative Dermatology. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jid.2018.06.181